The Kiddy Pool: Machiavelli and the Pruning Parent

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I have come to believe that the slippery slope, while fallacious when used in writing, applies to parenting. To put it more colloquially, give kids an inch, and they’ll stomp all over you for a mile. I don’t mean to say that I parent tyrannically, but that any exception to the reasonable, memorable, and well-established household behavioral standards requires an i … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Childhood Innocence Up in Smoke

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. "Where most Americans see a juxtaposition of purity and corruption, one that offends our sensibilities, those views of children and smoking are not shared everywhere around the world." I remember eating candy cigarettes when I was a kid. It was a stick of bubblegum, with sugar powder in the wrapper, so you could blow out the powder and pretend to smoke. These candies … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: The Princess Paradox

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"While I appreciate the concept behind the Christian princess, Scripture doesn't talk about God’s children as princes or princesses." As the mother of two little girls (and none of us live under rocks), I’ve been mulling over the princess thing for a while. On the one hand, I think dressing up and make up and girly things like Hello Kitty are super fun. On the other hand, I hold at least vaguely feminist convictions, and while I happen to be somewhat traditionally feminine, I prefer to see gen … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: The Nutcracker, Inside Out

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I took my daughter’s apparel for The Nutcracker seriously. I did her hair just like the girl on the cover of Janet Shulman’s adaptation of the classic Christmas tale, the one we’ve been reading and re-reading for months. I made sure she wore her pink tutu, and she, of course, picked out the red sparkly shoes; we did our best to approximate the grandeur approp … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: The Rudolph Incident

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.We started playing Christmas in July back in, well, July. I was trying to come up with something creative for my older daughter to play while we were stuck inside so much, avoiding temperatures too extreme for her newborn baby sister. At this point, playing Christmas in mid-November is just playing Christmas, but my daughter still exhibits such pure joy every time … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Mighty Oaks from Acorns Grow

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Children are natural artists and scientists; indeed, it seems to me that children, unlike so many of us grownups, rarely see the distinction between art and science. When left to their own devices (and that, perhaps, is key), children explore, investigate, and discover the world around them in all its beauty and complexity. Somewhere along the way, most of us lose … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: A Case for Catechism

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I memorized the twenty-third Psalm and the Lord’s Prayer when I was eight years old, not as part of any official home or church-education program, but because I’d heard about them and they seemed important. What drew me to those Scriptures as a child was a vague notion of truth and beauty that today I can more clearly discern as the Holy Spirit. I have memorized sign … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Diapers, for the Glory of God

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I got pregnant with my first daughter almost 4 years ago now; I subsequently carried her to term, nursed her for 23 months, and, in the same week that I celebrated weaning her, found out I was pregnant again. The cycle began again (or rather continued) with another pregnancy, the birth of another baby girl, and here I am, almost 5 months in to nursing and going strong. Sometimes I wonder when I’ll get my body back to myself, and yet some days I feel like my own body’s basic needs get neglected wh … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: We Are… God’s Handiwork(ers)

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I remember reading Martha Nussbaum’s Sex and Social Justice in graduate school; in it, she argues that we are all “body workers,” that every human is embodied and therefore uses some physicality to perform our work. It’s just that the product of some people’s work is divorced from our bodies, so the work is considered more dignified. I’ve been thinking about that … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Project Runway’s “It’s Fashion Baby”

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Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.I’ve always been a big fan of Project Runway: I’ve seen every season, which is more of a commitment than I’ve ever made to any other reality TV show (and possibly any other show at all). I think my appreciation for the program has something to do with the contestants possessing skills that are actually creative and interesting, as opposed to say, being former D-list s … [Read more...]


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